BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore protesters pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus and threw it into the city’s Inner Harbor on Saturday night.
Demonstrators used ropes to topple the monument near the Little Italy neighborhood, news outlets reported.
Protesters mobilized by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police have called for the removal of statues of Columbus, Confederate figures and others. They say the Italian explorer is responsible for the genocide and exploitation of native peoples in the Americas.
Protesters just took down the Christopher Columbus statue in Baltimore’s Little Italy. pic.twitter.com/ViPk5eKOtz
— Louis Krauss (@louiskraussnews) July 5, 2020
According to The Baltimore Sun, the statue was owned by the city and dedicated in 1984 by former Mayor William Donald Schaefer and President Ronald Reagan.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement that he condemns the statue’s removal, calling it the “antithesis of democracy” and asking Baltimore City leaders need to regain control of its streets.
“While we welcome peaceful protests and constructive dialogue on whether and how to put certain monuments in context or move them to museums or storage through a legal process, lawlessness, vandalism, and destruction of public property are completely unacceptable,” Hogan said.
A spokesman for Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young told The Sun the toppling of the statue is a part of a national and global reexamination over monuments “that may represent different things to different people.”
“We understand the dynamics that are playing out in Baltimore are part of a national narrative,” Lester Davis said.
Statues of Columbus have also been toppled or vandalized in cities such as Miami; Richmond, Virginia; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Boston, where one was decapitated.
Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.